Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Over 70 killed in Nigeria bus station terror attack

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Pornagraphy without borders is key benefit of EU, says French MEP

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

ENCORE!

“Booty Looting” memory and mediums

Read more

WEB NEWS

Another Google Glass wearer attacked in San Francisco

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Sustainable cuisine

Read more

DEBATE

Eastern Ukraine: the escalation (part 2)

Read more

  • Putin warns Ukraine "on brink of war" as Kiev continues "anti terror" operation

    Read more

  • Hundreds of children rescued from "sinking" ferry off South Korean coast

    Read more

  • Syria “torture” photos stun, silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • Deadly fire rips through Chile’s Valparaiso for third day running

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

  • Bluefin-21 'mini-sub' to redeploy for Malaysian jet

    Read more

  • Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors shuts for renovation

    Read more

  • Guardian, Washington Post win Pulitzers for NSA revelations

    Read more

  • French police begin mass DNA test in hunt for school rapist

    Read more

  • Americas to see 'Blood Moon' total lunar eclipse

    Read more

  • France looks to lift ailing economy with business-friendly diplomacy

    Read more

Africa

Gambia's Bensouda unanimously elected to head ICC

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-13

Member states of the International Criminal Court on Monday unanimously elected Gambia's Fatou Bensouda, a former justice minister, to be new chief prosecutor. Bensouda, currently the ICC's deputy prosecutor, will replace Luis Moreno-Ocampo in June.

AFP - International Criminal Court member states on Monday unanimously elected Fatou Bensouda of Gambia as the new chief prosecutor for the main genocide and war crimes tribunal.

The post has become more prominent with the growth of international criminal justice over the past decade and Bensouda vowed to keep up pressure on leaders who order killings and violate rights.

Bensouda, a former justice minister in Gambia, is currently the ICC deputy prosecutor. She will take over next June from Luis Moreno-Ocampo who sought the genocide warrant against Sudan's Omar al-Bashir and crimes against humanity case against late Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

The new prosecutor was elected by consensus at the annual meeting of the ICC's 120 state parties at the UN headquarters. Bensouda said she was particularly proud of the support given by Africa.

But she said her African origin would not affect her role as the prosecutor.

"Let me stress: I will be the prosecutor of all the states parties in an independent and impartial manner," she told the meeting.

"I don't think any of us can deny that the crimes, the atrocities that are happening in Africa are crimes," she told reporters later. "We will target the perpetrators of the crimes."

All of the ICC's formal investigations are in Africa but many of the continent's leaders say Africa is unfairly targeted and an African Union summit this year decided not to carry out warrants issued against African leaders.

Bensouda called the ICC, set up by the 2002 Rome statute, "a truly unique institution."

She said the court was "changing international relations forever."

Bensouda will face immediate challenges with Bashir still no closer to answering the charges against him over the conflict in Darfur. She must also handle a sensitive case over whether Seif al-Islam, the son of Kadhafi, is tried in Libya or at the ICC in The Hague.

Bensouda was one of 52 candidates interviewed for the post. African nations had pressed for Bensouda's appointment, however, and many analysts have expressed the hope that her nomination will increase the tribunal's acceptance on the continent.

In a speech to the meeting, Botswana's President Ian Khama hit out at African leaders who refuse to cooperate with the tribunal, saying it put the continent "on the wrong side of history."

Khama particularly criticized an African Union summit decision in June to oppose arrest warrants issued for Kadhafi and other African leaders.

"This decision is a serious setback in the battle against impunity in Africa and undermines efforts to confront war crimes and crimes against humanity which are committed by some leaders on the continent," Khama said.

"Such a move also places Africa on the wrong side of history. It is a betrayal of the innocent and helpless victims of such crimes."

"We need to have the political will and the moral courage to hold accountable, without fear or favor, anyone in authority -- including a sitting head of state -- when he or she is suspected of having committed crimes against innocent people," Khama said.

Outgoing prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo said the court's independence could not be taken for granted.

"National or parochial interests are providing incentives to control the court. Reality has demonstrated that the office's independent decisions have triggered conflicts of interests for states," he told the meeting.

"Leaders who are using crimes to retain power have criticized the court and managed to mobilize some international support to this end."

Moreno-Ocampo said there was a second risk of attempts to "blackmail" the court.

"Reality shows that some of the leaders sought by the court threatened to commit more crimes to retain power, blackmailing the international community with a false option: peace or justice. The efficiency of the court will depend on how political leaders and conflict managers react to such blackmail," he said.
 

Date created : 2011-12-13

  • JUSTICE

    Gambia's Fatou Bensouda poised to lead ICC

    Read more

  • Ivory Coast

    Former Ivorian strongman Gbagbo faces ICC judges

    Read more

  • Sudan

    ICC mulls warrant request for Sudanese minister

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)